Charles Phoenix Disneyland Tour of Los Angeles
Charles Phoenix at Union Station
Walking through the Broadway Arcade mall near the Jewelry District, Charles Phoenix rued the changing face of Downtown. The mall, built in 1922 and billed as Los Angeles's oldest shopping center, was the fourth stop on what could be Phoenix's last tour of some of the oldest and grandest sites in a city long accused of lacking history. But it was in the mall, where naked upper floors could continue the loftization of Downtown, that Phoenix revealed his love/hate relationship with L.A.'s true city center.
Charles Phoenix is an enigma. For more than three years he has led "Disneyland" tours of Los Angeles where he points out the similarities of the epic theme park with some of the city's best themed centers. He has written books has a weekly slide of kitschy Southern California and drives the point home with a Mickey Mouse hat and scripted "Charles" along the back, a macaroni and cheese colored jacket, maroon pleated plants and pink shoes. He exudes hipster cool without trying to be hip, he is a fashionista seemingly without trying and his outfit screams sarcasm even as he maintains his talks are from the heart.
"This is a show tour, a heartfelt tour and I think that will shine through," he said during his 26th and possibly last tour of Los Angeles.